Growing up Catholic, I memorized the Christian Creed, AKA the Apostles or Nicene Creed. It was part of the Catechism. Later, at the Protestant Church, the Nicene Creed was recited as a statement of faith. This Creed was composed by men in 325 AD because Emperor Constantine wanted to have a specific doctrine stating what every Christian would believe in. That just brings up the fact that you can’t become a Christian by edict or doctrine, but by a personal belief in Jesus Christ. Given that, where did they get the doctrine from? In reality, the earliest Christian Creeds predate Constantine’s by almost 300 years! These early Christian Creeds are found in your Bible, in the New Testament. Let’s dig in…
The Earliest Christian Creeds
The Christians Creeds proclaim 3 facts about Jesus Christ — His divinity, His death, and His resurrection. Jesus…
- …was God incarnate — in the flesh.
- …died taking all our sins away forever.
- …rose from the dead 3 days later defeating death forever.
Let’s take these one at a time…
God Incarnate — The Messiah
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV
Furthermore, in the Old Testament Hebrew, word “Lord” is translated as “Jehovah” or “Yehovah” — the “Existing One”, the “Eternal One”. The Hebrew word for “God” is “Elohim” which is the plural form of “god”.
In the New Testament, in Mark 12, Jesus quotes this when asked what is the greatest commandment…
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”Mark 12:29-30 NKJV
Jesus also used the term “I AM” many times to refer to himself. That unites Him with God at the burning bush when He called Moses to free the Israelites from Egypt. When Moses ask Him who He was, God replied, “I AM who I AM”.
Paul Acknowledges this in 1 Corinthians…
There is one God, the Father,1 Corinthians 8:6 NLT (emphasis mine)
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live.
In the Book of Hebrews, we read…
3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.Hebrews 1:3 NLT
Jesus Died for Our Sins
Next, we examine Jesus’ death on the cross and so brilliantly explained in the Gospels and Epistles.
Many of the early Christian Creeds are written by Paul. In fact, you can read Paul’s letters in the order that they were written! Paul, after his conversion (Acts 9), spent some time with Jesus learning everything he needed to know to spread the Good News all over.
Paul gave us what Jesus gave him! He tells us so in 1 Corinthians chapters 11 and 15…
23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself.1 Corinthians 11:23 NLT
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul wrote…
Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
3I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.1 Corinthians 15:1-3 NLT (emphasis mine)
That line, “…unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place“, is the problem with many religions, sects, cults, and denominations that are trusting in false doctrines, teachings, and prophets. They are leading ignorant parishioners straight to hell! Why are they ignorant? Because they don’t read the Bible — the infallible Word of God — for themselves.
In Philippians, Paul wrote…
6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honorPhilippians 2:6-11 NLT (emphasis mine)
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Additionally, Jesus’ deity is also emphasized here. In other words, it’s Jesus ONLY who should be worshiped, venerated, honored, adored, praised, glorified, extolled, lauded, idolized, or magnified! Neither Mary nor any of the “saints” were deities!
Only Jesus Rose from the Dead!
Above all, Christianity is nothing without the resurrection. As a result, when we believe this, we are saved from eternal life in hell and get our ticket to Heaven. What’s more, that’s where Jesus is preparing a place for His Bride, all the born-again Christians. That said, here are the Christian Creeds that speak to His rising from the dead and conquering death.
We start with the last chapter of Luke where two supposed “disciples” of Jesus are sadly walking to Emaus, when Jesus comes up to them and starts telling them about Himself. Once they arrived at Emaus, when they were eating with Him, this happened…
30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” 33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”Luke 24:30-34 NLT
Later, Jesus ascended to Heaven (that’s in Acts 1) were just before He rose, He speaks of His deity and that He’s coming back. The Book of Acts, written by Luke, contains some of Peter’s Christian Creeds. My favorite is in Acts 2, during Pentecost. Later, in Acts 3, 4, 5, and 10, Peter faces the Jewish leaders defending the faith, as well as presenting the Good News to the Gentiles.
Likewise, Paul continues preaching the Christian Creeds as he starts his missionary journeys. In Antioch of Pisidia, he teaches both Jews and Gentiles. We find that in Acts 13. Subsequently, when Paul is in Athens, he discovers a temple to the “Unknown God”. It’s like the Greeks wanted to make sure they didn’t miss a god. He tells them that Jesus is that One Creator God who rose from the dead. That’s in Acts 17 — another one of my favorites.
Part of the Christian Creeds is the Good News of Salvation. Paul writes about that in Romans…
3 The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, 4 and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 1:3-4 NLT
9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”Romans 10:9-13 NLT
Ultimately, you must not be deceived by the lies that come from Satan through human “thinking” as Paul writes in Colossians chapter 2…
8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.Colossians 2:8-10 NLT (emphasis mine)
That last line means that Jesus has ALL authority! No pope, cardinal, bishop, priest, or human being can claim authority over the salvation of souls. See, Jesus is alive! He conquered sin on the cross and death when He rose from the grave. He’s in Heaven waiting for the right moment when Father God will tell Him to come and get his Bride — the born-again believers! Moreover, that’s where YOU want to be!
If you truly believe these Christian Creeds which you can find in your Bible, then you are saved!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.